Daniel Defoe (1661-1731) wrote 'A Journal of the Plague Year' in 1722, now considered one of the great early English novels. This Penguin Classic excerpt re-introduces this great work to a new audience, and captures the flavour of the times and events of 1665, the year of the Great Plague of London. Although Defoe was only five years old at the time of the events, it is written as an eye-witness account, and is a gripping observation of the reactions of the Londoners: mass hysteria, flight from the city, and even indifference. This is one of earliest 'historical' novels - so close to the events that it cannot fail to ring true - a true fictional account, so to speak.
This report prepared by Michael JR Jose